Abstract V.04


Tangible Visual Effects is a thesis investigation on the structural components of screen based visual effects, (ex: animatronics, multiplicity, scripted depth of field, type animation, mutation/transformation, lighting effects, augmented interfaces, etc) and seeks to explore ways in which they can be deployed to form a new language of tangible interactions. I believe the structural components of visual effect techniques can change future interaction. This can introduce and develop of new uses for informing future perceptive interactions. This would entail undertaking experiments that explore the possibility of extending the visual experience to other senses and subverting expectations of “familiar interactions” through the tools of illusion, mutation, discovery, and stimulating imagination.


There are certain attributes in devices when and if manipulate, creates a sense of illusion. It is a natural phenomena to dilute one’s mind just as a chameleon can change colors to deceive predators while sitting on a tree. I’m creating illusion to dilute the eye, experimenting with perception and sub-conscious to allow variations of experiences by individuals.

As Maurice Merleau-Ponty observed that “consciousness exists in the world and experience of things in the world exist in the consciousness”. Perceptive manipulation devices can alter the consciousness. A recent experiment by Ehrsson in 2007 was done by mounting a video camera on the head to allow users to perceive a variety of out-of-body experience.

Galvano-vestibular stimulation system by Fitzpatrick investigates a systems that can manipulate the sense of balance, reflexes, and proprioception. Startling sensations such as sirens, bright flashes, or even vibrations to the sense of touch can unconsciously divert our attention. George Stetten devised the concept of FingerSight in 1999. It extends human sight to fingers by detecting reflected laser light to vibrations felt on the surface of finger, allowing the device to mimic the phenomena of synethesia.

The Approach

Professionally I have resided in the world of motion based narratives in conjunction to this I have also been attracted to breaking and making things. These have informed many of my projects during my two years of masters studies, 11th Finger (extension of the body), Velit (object animism and mythology), and Healthbrush (experience design into our everyday lives). Through experimentation from making, I plan to further develop devices and interfaces, even small one function objects around perception manipulation and physical animation. I will collaborate with other researchers as well to develop hybrid of thesis concepts and tackle a broader spectrum.

Investigation Questions:

• if visual effects in film have the capability to convincingly deceive us, and draw us into a scripted narrative, what would be the implications of the application of embedded visual effects in physical world?

• would they become entertainment, or could they have a deeper effect in subverting our expectations?

• what would be the implications if our objects plays with inversions of our expectations-on our sensory perception, relationship to objects, to entertainment?

• if the frequency of light waves and audio waves can be manipulated enough to cross over in our neurological responses, how can this phenomenon be synthesize towards a comprehensible narrative of personal interpretations?

• when the physical interface takes on a greater responses to touch and controls with hands and feet over digital responses that stimulates human perception, what possibilities can arise from memory, recovery, and discovery?


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